Fifteen years ago Vitor Belfort was a relative newcomer to MMA who found success far beyond the kind his years in the ring would experience, finding fame inside the Octagon as a champion known for putting away comparable opponents with ease. Now, Belfort is a seasoned veteran who is facing UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones – a man with very similar traits in terms of his rapid ascension through the ranks.
The irony is not lost on Belfort.
“This is the old lion versus the young lion; it is the original phenom versus the new phenom,” said Belfort in an interview with the UFC promoting his upcoming bout with “Bones”. “I have a pedigree and a history in the UFC; I fought Tank Abbott, I fought on a card with Dan Severn, I’ve had wars with Randy Couture, I’ve fought in PRIDE and around the world. I’m an old lion but I’m not an old man…I am experienced.”
“It is fitting that I get to fight the best of this new generation. I’m from the old school of fighting. I was in the UFC 12 tournament. I fought guys on no notice,” Belfort continued, alluding to Jones’ refusal to face Chael Sonnen with only a few days to prepare. “Some people need to get ready to fight. I am always ready to fight. I feel that I was meant to fight Jon Jones like this.”
Belfort and Jones will collide in the main event this coming Saturday night at UFC 152. The 35-year old Brazilian is coming off back-to-back stoppages, while Jones is out to defend his title for the fourth time with past success against Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC